Plan for Return to Clinical Practice in Respect of COVID-19
We appreciate the following is a lot of information. We are required to provide you, our respected patients, with our plan to responsibly and legally resume practice. If you have any questions or require any clarification at all, please do not hesitate to ask.
Please find below our COVID-19 Return to Practice. This document includes clinic protocols, requirements, and responsibilities for resuming Registered Massage Therapy at our clinic in July.
A few important notes for your appointment:
-A mandatory pre-screening questionnaire will be sent to you 24-hours prior to your appointment via email. Please ensure it is completed the day before your appointment along with your results from the BC Self Assessment tool found at: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en You will be contacted the day before your appointment to discuss your symptom status.
-Please bring a mask with you for your appointment. If you do not have a mask there will be disposable surgical masks provided. Without a mask, we cannot treat you.
-Please remain in your vehicle until your R.M.T. waves you in.
-Please sanitize your hands upon entry to the clinic with the pump provided on the reception counter.
-We will continue to direct bill and our point of sale machine is available.
-We ask that any rebooking be done online, by email, text or phone.
-We will look back fondly on the memory of hugs and handshakes, sadly we will have to refrain for now. Air hugs and fives it is!
-It’s time for some self-care, please enjoy your long-awaited treatment.
Plan for Return to Clinical Practice in Respect of COVID-19
This plan was developed following the requirements of our Registered Massage Therapists insurer who has asked that we follow the recommendations of our professional association, The Registered Massage Therapists Association of British Columbia. It was created with the goal of reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 for both patients and the practitioner within the clinical setting. Here, we identify the actions that our practitioners commit to, and that all patients must commit to, in order to resume registered massage therapy services.
At Intuitive Touch Massage Therapy, our patient base ranges from 10-months to 86 years old, with front-line health care workers; first responders, essential services providers, and immuno-compromised individuals. There are, at this time no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Parksville. This will be re-evaluated should we have an outbreak that may result in immediate clinic closure. This plan was developed with all of those factors in mind.
“Coronavirus is transmitted via liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter these droplets through the eyes, nose, or throat if you are in close contact. The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air) and it is not something that comes in through the skin. It can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough. That’s why we recommend you cough or sneeze into your arm and wash your hands regularly.”
The overall aim of these protocols is to reduce potential coronavirus transmission by:
-Required ongoing self-assessment for signs of COVID-19 related illness in both the patient and the therapist.
-Reducing all physical, non-treatment-related interactions within the practice environment.
-Hand hygiene requirements.
-Avoiding face touching.
-Enhanced cleaning protocols.
-Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
-Meeting professional obligations, particularly related to informed consent and liability insurance.
Self-Assessment for Symptoms of COVID-19: For Patients & Therapists
Pre-Screening / Prior to Arrival
-The day prior to your booked appointment your Registered Massage Therapist is required to contact you and confirm your symptom status as per BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool. Paula, Lisa, Heather or Hanna will contact you via phone call or electronic communication. Please take the self-assessment, expect us to connect with you, and be available to respond so we may proceed with your appointment (the best part!) The tool can be found here: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
-All clinic staff members will also be using the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool daily which will be publicly posted and commit to canceling all appointments of any affected practitioner should symptoms present.
-Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses and seasonal allergies. Appointments must be canceled immediately if either patient or R.M.T. present with even mild symptoms that may be signs of COVID-19 including:
-Shortness of breath
-Sore throat or pain with swallowing
-Stuffy or runny nose
-Loss of sense of smell
-Loss of appetite
-COVID-19 Symptoms may range from mild to severe. You are required to cancel appointments if you experience what you feel may be ‘just the sniffles,’ ‘seasonal allergies’ or ‘just feeling under the weather,’ on the day of your appointment.
-You must confirm that you have not been in contact with anyone displaying illness, or signs and symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days prior to your treatment.
-You will be required to sign a Consent and Liability Waiver with respect to COVID-19 prior to being treated. This Liability Waiver will be saved on file. The pen and reception counter are sanitized after each and every use.
-As a part of the consent form, you must commit to understanding that while we have taken all possible measures to minimize the risk of viral transmission, the nature of registered massage therapy means that physical distancing is not possible in the treatment room.
-Patients with higher risk profiles and/or weakened immune systems should consider postponing treatment. The therapist and patient must agree that the therapeutic benefit of massage therapy outweighs any potential consequence of treatment, including the possibility of viral transmission.
-Patients who develop even mild illness or symptoms must cancel booked appointments, even without notice.
-You will not be charged a late cancellation fee if you cancel due to illness.
-You will be advised of your R.M.T’s current results from the online BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment tool.
-You will be asked to confirm your own current results from the online BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment tool.
-You must confirm that you have done a pre-screening and have no signs of COVID-19 as outlined here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/symptoms
-Masks must be worn at all times within the clinic space. Please bring your own mask. If your mask is reusable please ensure it has been freshly laundered. You will be asked to wear it upon entering the clinic space. If you do not have one we will have disposable surgical masks available.
-You must confirm you have not travelled outside British Columbia within 14 days prior to your appointment.
-The treatment will be canceled immediately if you do not meet the pre-screening criteria upon physical presentation at the clinic.
Reception Area / Entry into Clinic Space
-Patients must arrive unaccompanied unless a companion is required for the patient’s safe ability to receive treatment.
-We will maintain a space of 2 meters (6 feet) distance between each other in all clinic areas that are outside the treatment room.
-Patients are not permitted to lounge in the clinic reception area before or after the treatment.
-The water dispenser has been removed. It is a good idea to bring a water bottle with you for post-treatment, however, please leave it in your vehicle until you have exited the clinic.
-Hand sanitizer is available in the reception area. Please use this upon entering the clinic.
-Nothing remains in the clinic space that cannot be disinfected between appointments.
-Appointment times are spaced and staggered to allow enhanced cleaning protocols and ensured physical distancing from others.
-You are asked to arrive on time and not early or late for appointments.
-You are asked to wait in your vehicle until I come to the clinic door to call you in.
Within the Treatment Room
It is not possible to maintain physical distancing while in the treatment room.
You will be asked to keep your personal belongings within a plastic bin which will have been sanitized prior to your arrival.
Restroom for Patient Use
-The restroom has been equipped with a touchless soap dispenser and proper handwashing guidelines. Paper towel is provided in place of washable towels.
-A waste bin has been placed next to the restroom door so that you may use the paper towel to open the door, and then discard it before re-entering the clinic space.
Reception Area / Entry into Clinic Space
Immediately upon entering the clinic space, please use the hand sanitizer provided on the reception counter.
-If your hands are visibly soiled, you must opt to wash hands with soap and water.
-Therapists will wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds immediately before and after treatment, before and after disinfecting spaces, before donning gloves and after taking gloves off, and before donning or doffing other PPE like face masks or shields.
-Hand washing protocols will be posted visibly in the reception area and at sinks.
-Payment occurs in the reception area. *Cash is no longer accepted. Direct billing will still continue and the wireless Point of Sale system with Tap will be available for card use once received and will be sanitized between each patient.
-Receipts will continue to be emailed.
In the Treatment Room
-As always all clinic linens are kept in a closed clean storage unit.
-Every day individual bins will be prepared for all of the day’s patients. Within those bins will be your sheets and face cradle covers. Massage oil bottles will continue to be sanitized between appointments.
-The doorknob will be sanitized and therapists will additionally open and close the door of the treatment room with a towel to minimize cross handling.
-Patients will be permitted to open the door for themselves after the treatment to let themselves out of the treatment room.
-Tissue is available inside the treatment room that you may use as a barrier to open the door.
-Hand sanitizer is available and you will be asked to wash or sanitize yourself after the treatment.
-The door and doorknobs will be disinfected between each patient.
Avoid Face Touching
-Coronavirus can be transmitted by touch if droplets are on the hand when it touches the face, as it can transfer those infected droplets to the mouth, nose, or eyes as such, the tissue will be available throughout the clinic: in the reception area, treatment room and washroom in order that we can use a tissue to address an itch and/or touch the face for any other reason.
-You are required to wear face masks that cover both nose and mouth at all times within the clinic space.
-Intraoral treatments for TMJ will be at your R.M.T.’s discretion provided benefits outweigh the risk.
-Additional time is scheduled between patients allowing for thorough cleaning of the treatment room.
-Surfaces will be cleaned followed by disinfection with a Canada Health Approved for use against COVID-19 disinfectant as listed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html
-Common areas will be cleaned and disinfected between patients including mopping the floors.
-All high touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between patients, regardless of appearance. High touch surfaces include (but are not limited to):
-Light switches, stool cover, chairs, doorknobs, POS machine, electronic devices, table surfaces, chairs, stools, window coverings, faucets, etc.
-The treatment table, table levers, face cradle, lotion bottles will continue to be disinfected immediately after each treatment.
-No hydrotherapy supplies, heat pads, hot towels, table warmers, or plush table covers will be used.
-A Cleaning and Disinfectant for Clinic Setting Poster will be on display in the reception area.
-All linens, including blankets and pillowcases are single-use only and will be laundered with detergent at high heat.
-The treatment room windows will remain open for fresh air flow, if you get chilled, please let your therapist know and they can adjust the opening.
Personal Protective Equipment
-Therapists will now be wearing scrubs and/or aprons. A fresh apron and/ or shirt will be donned for each patient and the aprons will be laundered between usage.
-Therapists will disinfect all surfaces, or change completely their shoes. Footwear will be for clinic use only, wiped, and left to sit for 24 hours before use again.
-Therapists will wear nitrile gloves if/when appropriate.
-Due to the over-use of cleaning and disinfectant chemicals causing skin irritation for our therapists’ hands, we may at times require the use of gloves for your treatment.
-Hands will be washed prior to putting the gloves on and immediately after removing them.
-Gloves are also considered appropriate and will be worn by the therapist at the patient’s request.
-Patients are required to wear a clean face mask that does not have an exhalation valve in the clinic at all times.
-If patients have their own fabric face mask, they are requested to clean it prior to use and to arrive at the clinic wearing it.
-If patients do not have a fabric face mask, the choice of a single-use surgical-style mask or a fabric mask will be provided at the time of their treatment.
Professional Obligations – Liability Insurance
-Our therapists each have their own individual professional liability insurance which is through Wilson M. Beck as provided through the Registered Massage Therapist Association of BC.
-The requirement of the insurer is to follow all the health and safety guidelines outlined by the Registered Massage Therapists Association of BC, the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia, and the Provincial Health Officer and that they are taking all reasonable precautions to clean and disinfect the clinic and all the surfaces within the treatment room.
-No guarantees have been made by the therapist, that you may not come in contact with COVID-19 at or during an appointment.
In the Event That You (patient) Test Positive for COVID-19 Having Been to a Massage Therapy Appointment With 14-days Prior to Onset if Symptoms:
-You will contact your therapist and inform of your positive test results and possible transmission of the virus immediately.
-Your Therapist will immediately self-isolate.
-Your Therapist will call public health at 8-1-1 to report the possible transmission and act on the direction of Provincial Health.
In the Event That a You (patient) Alleges Catching COVID-19 from your Therapist.
Your Therapist will immediately call public health at 8-1-1 to report the alleged transmission, providing both the name of the RMT and the name and contact details of the patient.
-Patients must agree to the release of this information under these circumstances in order to receive treatment.
-All massage therapy appointments will be canceled and your Therapist will cease to provide services until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.
-Your Therapist will immediately self-isolate until Public Health has investigated and provided direction.
In the Event That your Therapist Catches or Display Symptoms of COVID-19
-They will immediately self-isolate.
-They will call public health at 8-1-1 to report the symptoms and request access to COVID-19 testing.
If testing is granted:
-All massage therapy appointments will be canceled and your R.M.T. will cease to provide services until test results are returned negative.
-If testing proves positive, your R.M.T. will follow Public Health directives in informing patients treated over the previous 14 days about potential transmission.
If testing is not granted:
-All massage therapy appointments will be canceled and your R.M.T. will cease to provide services for a minimum of 10-days beyond the onset of symptoms, and/or until symptoms cease.
In the Event That your R.M.T. Comes into Close Contact with Someone Showing Signs of Illness or Tests Positive for COVID-19
-Your R.M.T. will immediately self-isolate.
-All massage therapy appointments will be canceled and your R.M.T. will cease to provide services until:
-The close contact has been tested for COVID-19 and the results proved negative and your R.M.T. is well,
–OR after self-isolating for 14 days and having no symptoms of fever develop.
–OR being cleared by a public health official.
-Asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus is an unavoidable risk of practice until we’ve acquired herd immunity or there is an effective treatment or vaccine against COVID-19.
-We have mindfully and firmly put into place, protocols to help mitigate that risk as outlined in the preceding documentation.
-No guarantees have been made by your R.M.T. or the owner of the clinic that you may not come in contact with COVID-19 at or during an appointment.
In the current environment of COVID-19 risk, informed consent requires that you be informed and understands that:
-Any Registered Massage Therapy treatment involves some risk of COVID-19 transmission;
-Our R.M.T.’s and associate practitioners are following protocol to help reduce or mitigate risk where possible, but that risk cannot be reduced to zero;
-You consent to the treatment despite some risk; and your R.M.T. will document your consent at every treatment.
We are looking so forward to sharing space with you once again. ~ Paula, Lisa, Brittany, Alicia, and Heather
“Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe” ~ Dr. Bonnie Henry 💜